The HCSS Annual report 2022 highlights all of HCSS’s work this year. But if you don’t have time to read the full report and want to catch up some of the top HCSS content you may have missed, we have highlighted below some of our key publications, events, podcasts and videos in each area!
The Russian invasion of Ukraine
How and when does the Russia-Ukraine war end? HCSS director of research Tim Sweijs and assistant
analyst Mattia Bertolini consider what we can learn from war terminations in the past: how long they lasted,
how they ended, whether they relapsed, and what factors contributed to their end. These insights are used to
assess the prospects of war termination in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict and provide
recommendations to European policymakers to bring an end to the current war and ensure durable peace
between Russia and Ukraine.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 has reawakened thinking in terms of risks and ‘escalation’. Since both Russia and NATO-states US, UK and France have nuclear arsenals, the nuclear threat has also returned to the forefront. Clearly, Putin’s Russia is engaging in brinkmanship and one-sided escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, and thus the risk of escalation must therefore be taken seriously. At the same time, European and American accommodation and acceptance of Russian aggression and threats are a recipe for further escalation from the Russian side and a problematic international precedent to set. This snapshot raises the question, which pathways of intentional or unintentional escalation exist between Russia and NATO as a consequence of the war in Ukraine? By “thinking about the unthinkable” through the exploration of six escalation scenarios, the snapshot identifies preventative policies to avoid escalation to major war, potentially even with nuclear arms.
India’s approach to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, described as “strategic ambivalence” has disappointed many in the US and Europe who hoped that India, as a democracy, would join them in criticising Russia’s actions. Instead, India has chosen to keep public criticism of Russia’s invasion to a minimum, stressing dialogue and diplomacy. This paper argues that this can be explained in part due to India’s longstanding arms partnership with Russia and the common perception in India that USSR and then the Russian Federation has been an enduring partner to India in a way Western states have not. However, India’s approach to the Russian invasion of Ukraine is not a continuation of anti-colonial non-Alignment (NAM) of the spirit of India’s first prime minster Jawaharlal Nehru, as some have argued. Instead, it is better understood as an example of reactionary internationalism of India’s government under the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Oekraïne is bezig met een opmars rond Charkov. Toch is er nog heel veel nodig voor Oekraïne om Rusland te verslaan. Andersom geldt hetzelfde. Rusland heeft nog geen enkele strategische doelstelling weten te behalen in Oekraïne. De reden? Het ontbreken van luchtoverwicht. Om die reden gaat de oorlog tot nu toe vooral ouderwets over de grond. In de lucht heeft niemand enige controle en dat maakt het voor beide partijen lastig om te winnen. Er is sprake van een patstelling. Maar hoe doorbreek je die? En wat is daarvoor nodig om 1 van de strijdende partijen te laten winnen? Dat ga je horen in deze aflevering van De Strateeg van mijn twee gasten:Patrick Bolder, defensie-expert van het Den Haag Centrum voor Strategische Studies- Jacco Dominicus, hoofd research & development binnen de operationele afdeling van het Nederlands Lucht- en Ruimtevaartcentrum.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 stood out to global audiences, not least by marking the return of large-scale conventional warfare in Europe. Yet, the war between Ukraine and Russia certainly does not take place in solely the physical realm. Rather, in modern high intensity warfare, an ongoing informational battle interacts with and affects the behaviour of people on the ground. Assistant Analyst Sofia Romansky introduces the forthcoming paper, The parallel front: An analysis of the military use of information in the first seven months of the war in Ukraine.
Geopolitics and Geo-economics
What role should Europe play in the Indo-Pacific? The EU strategy for the region outlines interests and
policies. This new HCSS report by Paul van Hooft, Benedetta Girardi and Tim Sweijs makes these explicit and offers concrete levers for action. The European role in the Indo-Pacific has grown over the past years, as part of Europe’s slow geopolitical reawakening, evidenced by increased European naval visits to the region and national and EU policy statements focusing on the Indo-Pacific. What the implications are of this growing role is not yet clear, this report examines what that European role should and could feasibly be.
China’s stupendous rise and the subsequent rivalry with the US for global hegemony have forced countries to choose sides; caught between a rock and a hard place, middle powers like India and South Korea have sought to maintain partnerships with both countries in the geo-economic space while precariously balancing the two in the geo-political domain. In this policy paper Senior Fellow Jagannath Panda contends that South Korea’ s flagship New Southern Policy (NSP), under Moon Jae-in, is unwilling to embrace the Indo-Pacific construct. This has brought to the forefront challenges that Seoul must overcome to raise its global profile.
This report covers new ground by specifically outlining pending disruptions in CRM value chains on which the EU relies for its access to semiconductors in the next five and ten years. The report also highlights key green technologies that rely on the same CRM value chains, as disruptions to these chains will also inhibit the energy transition. By doing so, an action plan is proposed for the Netherlands and the EU to deal with the risks and opportunities associated with the dependencies on the CRM needed for semiconductor production and green technologies. The action plan also outlines options to seize the opportunities related to the strengths of the Netherlands, the European Union and other technologically advanced democracies in the semiconductor value chain. To contribute to this report the authors conducted a foresight survey in which 49 experts participated, the results of which can be found here.
China staat bekend als een economische supermacht die in rap tempo over de hele wereld aan invloed weet te winnen. Maar ook op militair gebied zit China niet stil. De afgelopen decennia is China’s militaire kracht snel toegenomen en dat kan grote gevolgen hebben voor de veiligheid in de Indo-Pacific, maar ook bij ons. China kan zijn militaire kracht inzetten voor zijn economische doeleinden, maar ook op strategisch vlak. Kunnen we dat voorkomen? Wat moeten we daar tegenoverstellen? En op welk punt staat China nu? Dat ga je horen in deze aflevering van: Ruben Brekelmans, buitenlandwoordvoerder namens de VVD in de Tweede Kamer & Joris Teer, Strategisch analist bij het Den Haag Centrum voor Strategische Studies.
The Indo-Pacific region has emerged as the new epicentre of geopolitical competition, due to the growth of the Asian economies and particularly of the People’s Republic of China. The struggle over the future of Asia will define the 21st century for the rest of the world, like the struggle over Europe defined the 20th century. Europeans have begun their own tilt towards the Indo-Pacific. It remains unclear, however, what specific role Europeans should play in the Indo-Pacific. The HCSS “Europe in the Indo-Pacific Hub (EIPH)” facilitates such exchanges, bringing together scholars, experts, practitioners, business representatives and journalists across Europe, South, East, and Southeast Asia, as well as East-Africa, the Middle East, and the US to discuss the future of the maritime commons in the Indo-Pacific.
Defence and International Security
Strengthening deterrence against nuclear, conventional, and hybrid threats: Strengths, Weaknesses, and Insights for US Allies in Europe and Asia by Tim Sweijs, Paul van Hooft, Philip Geurts
European and Asian allies of the US are increasingly under pressure from Russia and China, while the US is arguably more and more overstretched. In both regions, small and middle powers face a revisionist and assertive nuclear-armed military power in possession of regional power projection capabilities. What could lead to a breakdown of deterrence between the US and small and middle powers in Europe and Asia? By breaking down the deterrence problems in the regions into the 5Cs categories of (1) clarity, (2)
capabilities, (3) criticality, (4) commitment, and (5) cohesion, the report identifies the challenges and points to possible solutions.
Wars to come, Europeans to act | A multimethod foresight study into Europe’s military future by Lotje Boswinkel and Tim Sweijs
“Watch out for War with a Capital W,” this new report concludes based on the first comprehensive expert survey to study the future of European defence since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Authors Lotje Boswinkel and Tim Sweijs use a multi-method approach to explore where Europe is most likely to intervene militarily over the next ten years, and lay out a comprehensive policy agenda for European defence policy makers.
Global sRussia’s invasion of Ukraine on the 24th of February 2022 stood out to global audiences, not least by marking the return of large-scale conventional warfare in Europe. Yet, the war between Ukraine and Russia certainly does not take place solely in the physical realm. Rather, in modern high intensity warfare, an ongoing informational battle interacts with and affects the behaviour of people on the ground. This third paper of the Platform Influencing Human Behaviour series looks at seven case studies to map the ways in which Ukrainian and Russian narratives developed and interacted. In doing so, we attempt to disentangle the various information influencing tactics employed in the war thus far, as well as draw out key conclusions that must be learnt.
Oekraïne haalt hier en daar succesjes binnen in de oorlog in Oekraïne. Maar grote overwinningen zijn nog niet behaald. Dat komt allemaal door het ontbreken van luchtoverwicht aan beide kanten. Oekraïne is sterk aan het verdedigen, maar hoe goed is de luchtafweer van de Russen eigenlijk? Paul van Liempt stelt jouw vragen aan zijn gasten. Te gast zijn opnieuw: Patrick Bolder, defensie-expert van het Den Haag Centrum voor Strategische Studies. Jacco Dominicus, hoofd research & development binnen de operationele afdeling van het Nederlands Lucht- en Ruimtevaartcentrum.
Climate and Security
Although acceptance of climate change’s role as a ‘threat multiplier’ is, by now, widespread, the specific causal mechanisms linking climate change to (violent) conflict onset remain under researched. This study presents seven climate-related conflict pathologies. The authors understand a climate-related conflict pathology as the specific pathway through which interaction between climate change and social, economic, and political factors leads to violent conflict. The study highlights regions that are particularly prone to each pathology and evaluates the available evidence and the degree of scientific consensus surrounding each of them. The mediating factors associated with each of the climate-related conflict pathologies outlined in this paper can be actively targeted to proactively reduce the risk of climate change resulting in the onset of conflict in vulnerable states.
The Marshlands of Southern Iraq, often described as the ‘Garden of Eden,’ are under serious threat from the effects of climate change. This unique ecosystem serves as a crucial source of essential services (e.g., food, clean water, and climate control) for the local community and the broader Iraqi population. This snapshot by Assistant Analyst Kendra Kock and Strategic Analyst Irina Patrahau argues that Iraqi Marshland women ought to be one of the key stakeholders involved in the decision-making processes that directly affect their livelihoods. However, to ensure their meaningful inclusion, inclusive dialogue processes must be formalised to guarantee the preservation and uninterrupted use of traditional knowledge. This article was also translated into Arabic the Al-Baidar Center in Iraq you can find the article here.
De oorlogen in Afghanistan en Irak, de opkomst van IS, de strijd tegen piraterij voor de kust van Somalië, bij al die conflicten heeft klimaatverandering een grote invloed gehad. Tom Middendorp, oud-commandant der strijdkrachten, schreef er een boek over ‘Klimaatgeneraal – bouwen aan weerbaarheid’. In zijn werk als commandant der strijdkrachten kwam Tom Middendorp tot het inzicht dat de gevolgen van klimaatverandering verder reiken dan we vaak denken. Zo draagt klimaatverandering, of zoals Middendorp het zelf noemt: klimaatontwrichting, bij aan het ontstaan en verergeren van conflicten in de wereld.
Energy and Raw Materials
Graphite is a critical mineral for governments in Europe and the United States, given its importance to the energy transition and high supply risk. Technologies that enable the decarbonization of transport and steel production, i.e., electric vehicles and electric arc furnaces, rely heavily on a consistent supply of high-quality graphite, leading to an exponential growth in the demand for graphite over the coming decades. Currently, 80% of the global supply of natural and synthetic graphite comes from China. This report analyses the practical, geopolitical and environmental challenges of sourcing graphite, and provides recommendations of how the European Union and the US can mitigate supply risks in the next decades.
Tank storage companies are essential players in our energy, transport, manufacturing, agricultural and food industries. The tank storage sector supports a complex international network of actors, from domestic industry players to residential users and international traders. This paper is the second of the series, outlining the current role of the tank storage sector in maintaining Europe’s prosperity, competitiveness, and geopolitical position.
Cobalt is essential in manufacturing lithium-ion batteries for electric cars and stationary applications, thus bearing significant weight in the energy transition. Ramping up domestic cobalt mining could contribute to European open strategic autonomy, as 70% of global cobalt supply is mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo and 70% of global cobalt refining capacity is in China. This paper argues that by ramping up recycling rates and taking action to decrease demand, the EU could become self-reliant for cobalt supply by 2050. Until then, however, domestic mine development could contribute to mitigating the potential supply chain disruptions given the extreme pressure on mineral supply chains in the next decades.
Cyber Policy and Resilience
The emergence of cyberspace provides small and medium powers with a strategic weapons capability that historically has been beyond their reach. This report explores how this capability can become an indispensable tenet of the deterrence posture of small and medium powers. To this end, the promises and perils of minimum cyber deterrence are explored. The destructive cyber potential of these small and medium powers could still inflict an unacceptable level of retaliatory punishment to deter potential aggressors, no matter their overwhelming technical superiority. This report offers insight into the cyber retaliation means and paths, their organizational requirements and considerations, as well as the political dilemmas many nations will face.
Cyber Arms Watch | An Analysis of Stated & Perceived Offensive Cyber Capabilities by Louk Faesen, Alexander Klimburg, Michel Rademaker, Saskia Heyster, Simon van Hoeve, Raffaele Minicozzi, Salome Petit Siemens and Giulia Tesauro.
In cyber terms, arms control is roughly at the level of the 1950s for nuclear weapons. There is no common understanding of what “cyber weapons” are, or indeed even “cyber forces.” States are left guessing as to the overall capability of another state. This lack of transparency has implications not only for intelligence and national security assessments, but more so for the institutional dialogues and the wider public discussion on international peace and security in cyberspace. This report details the transparency index on the offensive cyber capabilities of 60 states. It compares the degree to which states are transparent about their declared cyber capabilities to outside perceptions of those capabilities. The Cyber Arms Watch was visualised via an interactive monitor, available here.
De oorlog in Oekraïne lijkt een typische ouderwetse oorlog te zijn. We zien tanks, artillerie en een felle strijd om steden zoals Marioepol. Veel experts hadden dit niet meer voor mogelijk gehouden in 2022. De oorlog van de 21e eeuw zou er toch één zijn van het cyberdomein met cyberaanvallen op strategische infrastuctuur? Dat ga je horen in deze aflevering van De Strateeg: van Han Bouwmeester, kolonel en universitair hoofddocent militaire strategie aan de Nederlandse defensie academie & Louk Faesen, strategisch analist bij het Den Haag Centrum voor Strategische Studies
Events & Interviews
Transatlantic Dialogues: Emma Ashford on European Energy Security & relations with the US.
In the wake of Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, Europeans will have to fundamentally reshape their energy regime to end their dependency on Russian oil and gas. At the same time, the war has underscored the central role of the US in European security. In this interview, Emma Ashford a Senior Fellow with the Reimagining US Grand Strategy program at the Stimson Center, discusses the changes in the European energy regime, the transatlantic relationship as well as her latest book Oil, the State, and War: The Foreign Policies of Petrostates, was published by Georgetown University Press. The interview is conducted by HCSS senior strategic analyst Paul van Hooft.
Online Seminar: Charting NATO’s Future in an Age of Disruption
On 17 February 2022, a panel of independent experts of the NATO Task Force, including former senior U.S. and European officials and security analysts, issued a report to advance the Alliance’s strategy for the next decade, including through a new Strategic Concept, which Allied leaders intend to unveil at the June 2022 NATO Summit in Madrid. In the online seminar, key members of the Task Force discuss the war and its consequences and reflect on how NATO should adjust based on the approach of “One Plus Four”: The One is allied cohesion and more effective decision-making, in support of adaptation of NATO’s three core tasks — collective defense, crisis management, and cooperative security — and complemented by a fourth core task: building comprehensive resilience to disruptive threats to allied societies. This event was organised by HCSS and the War Studies Research Centre (WSRC) of the Netherlands Defence Academy.
Online Round Table: Graphite Processing
Online Round Table: Graphite Processing ‐ a new approach to produce Critical Minerals and enhance Strategic Autonomy. Graphite is a critical mineral that is often overlooked by geopolitical analysts. However, it is an essential ingredient in the energy transition and key industrial sectors like steel production. The commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement, the European Green Deal, and COP26 have urged countries and companies all over the world to adapt to the set climate change goals and reach carbon neutrality as soon as possible. As a consequence of this, demand for graphite is projected to grow almost 350% from 2022 volumes to reach almost 3,6 million tons in demand by 2030.In this Round Table, top experts from the battery industry, graphite production and capital markets discuss and explain the relevance and opportunities of new graphite processing technology.
Webinar | Countering China’s influence campaigns in Europe
Compared to the efforts of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, Beijing’s political influence operations in Europe have received little attention. However, the Chinese Communist Party’s influence campaigns pose a challenge to liberal democracy as well as Europe’s values and interests. This online event analyzes the toolset deployed by China across different arenas (political and economic elites; media and public opinion, and civil society and academia). The panel reflects on the effects of Chinese political influencing efforts on American and European elite and public opinion, and finally, explore response options both at the national and European level.
The HCSS team wishes you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!